How Recommendation And Remarketing Tools Can Boost Your Sales

Up until fairly recently eCommerce recommendations and remarketing were only possible for large eCommerce sites. However, the emergence of recommendation and remarketing tools and service providers over the last two years have made these sales boosting benefits accessible to even small businesses and marketers.

In this article we will look at what recommendations and remarketing are within the field of eCommerce, before looking at how they can benefit your business and boost your sales.

What Recommendations & Remarketing Mean

Recommendations have long been a core component of Amazon’s website, with up to 70% of Amazon’s home page dedicated to recommendations.  There are three primary types of recommendations:

  • Generic: These recommendations are seldom influenced by your past browsing and shopping history, and often show what other customers are currently looking at, or what the top-sellers are in general, or by category.
  • Complementary: These recommendations are directly influenced by your current and past behavior on an eCommerce site, and will be made up of items that complement or enhance the items you are currently looking at.
  • Alternatives: These recommendations are alternatives to what you are currently looking at, or what is already in your cart. Alternative recommendations can be used to either upsell or to retain a customer where the product they were originally interested in is out-of-stock.

Remarketing is primarily about having your online ads displayed to users who have previously visited your site, as they browse other websites. However, remarketing can also be used in tandem to recommendations by showing visitors to your site products they have viewed on other sites, and even items that are relevant to their current geographical location.

Both recommendations and remarketing rely on you having a substantial amount of data regarding your customer’s behavior and history, and the arrival of recommendation and remarketing tools and service providers gives small businesses access to this, along with access to 3rd-party data that enhances what they have already collected.

Photo Credit Think with Google

Using Recommendations to Increase Average Basket Size

Careful implementation of complementary, and even generic recommendations, can lead to an increase in your average basket size, with a McKinsey case study showing that cross-selling techniques can increase sales by 20%. The focus should be on items that enhance what the customer is looking at; for example, if the customer is looking at a shirt, complementary recommendations would be pants, shoes and even socks that create a complete outfit.  However, there shouldn’t be too many recommendations or you risk losing the customer. Generic recommendations in this context can encourage customers to explore your site more, possibly finding items they want, but weren’t actively looking for.

Photo Credit Think with Google

Using Recommendations to Increase Conversions

Countless sales are lost each day when the item the customer is looking for is out-of-stock; but alternative recommendations can help you. Whenever an item is out-of-stock, ensure that you display at least three alternatives, using a good, better, best approach. Caution must be taken when setting up your alternatives since they should closely match the original; if the customer was looking for a light switch, don’t offer them a new lampshade as an alternative.

Photo Credit InfoSys

Using Recommendations to Improve Customer Loyalty

Personalization plays a critical role in fostering customer loyalty for online stores, and personalizing some of your generic recommendations is one way to start. Generic recommendations are shown when you don’t know what the customer is actually looking for, but once you have some history on a customer’s past behavior you can, in addition to the standard generic recommendations, show a list of items they bought recently, or buy frequently. This is particularly appropriate for FMCG and other items customers need to buy regularly.

Amazon’s recommendations are said to generate up to 30% in additional revenue for the company, and while they have been doing this for quite a few years, any online business, big or small, can realize a boost in sales through the proper implementation of their own recommendation and remarketing strategy. The only requirement is that you start now.


pm3Przemyslaw Mankowski as a CEO of QuarticON concentrates on company’s further expansion on the market, lead International business strategy and develops business partnerships in CEE and worldwide. He has been working in New Tech industry for several years. Prior to joining, he was Sales Director in Agora and Member of the Board in (Poland). He was also CEO at Passus and NextWeb Media.

How to Be Strategic Using LinkedIn To Generate Leads

Having a LinkedIn account is essential to not only expand your social media presence but to generate leads. But it’s not enough to create your profile and let it just sit there — that isn’t going to generate leads. You must utilize the tools in LinkedIn to make your account work for you.

Finding Leads Using Advanced Search

Using the basic search feature is pretty much the same as using any standard website search. Type in a person’s name, company name or keyword and hit go. This is fine if you know the name of the company or person you’re looking for, but sometimes we’re looking for connections in a specific target market. So using the Advanced Search feature may be a better use of your time when trying to generate targeted leads.

There are several search filters on the advanced search page you can use to narrow down your findings. They include Location, Industry, Function, Seniority Level and Company Size.

We work with a lot of Building Service Contractors who would like to connect with Facilities Managers in various target markets such as medical offices, universities, and commercial office space. In the example below, we used the Advanced Search function to find Facilities Managers for Medical Offices in the Minneapolis/St. Paul area.

Notice that the filter for “Function” has been grayed out. Depending on your level of membership, you may or may not be able to access all advanced search functions in LinkedIn. The right side is Seniority Level, and I checked Manager, Director, and VP, as I’m looking for decision makers.

LinkedIn1After looking at search results, I found a “Suspect” from Allina Health Care, which has medical offices throughout the Twin Cities. The suspect is the Director of Operations, Business Development, and Corporate Security. He provides a detailed description of his job responsibilities on his LinkedIn profile (see screenshot below).

Notice that his position reports directly to the President, so he is a high-level connection. He also lists the positions and departments that report to him, including the Director of Facilities Management, who would likely be responsible for outsourcing building services such as cleaning. Many Building Service Contractors also provide security services. Notice in the last highlighted area, that he is also in charge of Corporate Security.

On the right side, you can see that Jon is a 2nd level connection on LinkedIn. So if I felt comfortable contacting my 1st level connection, I could ask for a 3rd party introduction. Warm introductions like this are always met with a better response than a cold contact.

LinkedIn2Finding targeted prospects is important and connecting with the right people is the best way to generate leads on LinkedIn. By utilizing the Advanced Search functions, you are likely to find the people you most want to connect with.

Make Smart Connections

Another way to get new leads is to cultivate the relationship you have with your current clients. You should be connecting with them on LinkedIn and viewing their connections as possible new connections for you.

Also, start operating under the policy that everyone you meet or have a conversation with is a potential LinkedIn connection. If you meet someone in line at Starbucks and have a 30-second conversation that leads to an exchange of business cards, connect with them on LinkedIn. They could be a potential client and better yet, they may be connected to that ideal client who is looking for the services you provide.

Joining groups is another great way to connect with potential clients. There are two things to remember when using a LinkedIn group to generate leads. The first is that you may not want to start your own group unless you already have a following of engaged prospects and clients. The easier way is to be active in whatever groups you do join. Giving valuable advice and sharing great resources is the best way to engage with the people in your groups. So participating important because you can’t be found by people who are looking for your service if you are silent.

Lastly, make every connection personal. If you connect and immediately try to sell to them, you will alienate your new connections. Take the time to connect on a more personal level and help them along the way. If they run a business, learn more about it and stay on top of what they are up to; even if it doesn’t have much to do with what you do. You just may have a connection that needs what they have to offer, and a referral is a great way to get their attention.

Prove Expertise Through Your Content

If you want to look like an expert in your field, then you must do what the experts do — ask engaging questions, share useful content and create original content. Sharing content instead of making a hard sell makes you more approachable and trustworthy. Don’t make them feel as if you are there just to get your hands on their money. Instead, put relationship-building and helping others behind your intentions.

You can share your content in two ways.

  1. Status Updates. If you write a blog, this is a great way to amplify your content. Give people a reason to read the article, and then link to it in the post. We also post thought-provoking questions to stir engagement. In the example below, I asked a simple question that generated several responses.LinkedIn3
  1. Publish Articles.You can now publish articles to LinkedIn, which is a great way to showcase your expertise. Just be sure to use compelling titles and graphics because you’re competing with other LinkedIn users for your Connections’ attention.


Closing Thoughts

LinkedIn is a phenomenal tool for businesses to find leads. It is by far the leader for B2B companies versus other social media sites like Facebook and Twitter because it is used primarily for business connections. If you use it right, you are sure to get lots of targeted leads. And if you put some time and energy into those leads, they are sure to turn into clients and that will ultimately grow your business.


Jean HansonJean Hanson is a long-time entrepreneur, co-founding two commercial cleaning companies, running a virtual assistant business, and in 2005, launching a business portal for commercial and residential cleaning business owners. Jean is also a Certified Consultant for the world-renowned Duct Tape Marketing System. For more tips like this one sign up for Strategic Marketing Tips at

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